Last updated on September 12th, 2021

Class Participation and Examinations

Students must participate in all scheduled educational activities, including but not limited to lectures, labs, small group discussion, as defined in the course syllabus.

Students must be aware that class participation policies may vary across courses. Course directors may take participation into account when determining grades, provided that a clear written statement on attendance policy and its impact on grading are given in the course syllabus. The University considers participation to be an essential component of professionalism. Absenteeism can adversely affect grades and may result in a failing grade.

Students are responsible for complying with the conditions set by the Course Directors and Director of the Preclinical Program for remediation of performance deficiencies.  Students are expected to access their grades and be aware of their performance in exams and courses. Students who miss any exams for validated reasons are expected to attend the completion exams as outlined in the term schedule. Examinations will not be offered outside these dates. It is the responsibility of students to know the time and dates of all examinations and assignments.


In exceptional circumstances, a student may be granted an excused absence from other required course activities (non-examination) that contribute points to a student’s grade. In general, having a brief illness does not constitute an excused absence; students should not use the ME form described below for missed, non-exam course activities. The basis for an excused absence from non-exam activities typically relates to religious observances, scholarly/administrative activities, and catastrophic events as described in “Non-Medical Excuses.”

Students should follow the procedures described in that section for obtaining an excused absence from required non-examination activities. If an excused absence is granted, then the student is given the opportunity to earn any lost point(s) associated with the missed activity through a makeup assignment as determined by the Course Director. Unexcused absences result in a grade of “0” for the missed activity. With unexcused absences there will not be an opportunity for the student to earn back the lost points.

In addition, excused absences still count towards the total permissible number of absences a student can have per term, as defined in the course syllabi.

In addition to the regularly scheduled examinations for each course, there are four other types of examinations in the Preclinical Sciences program.
If a student receives an “F “grade or does not fulfill the required GPA, the CAPPS decides whether the student can repeat the course(s) and stay in the program until the required GPA is met.

Pre-Clinical Year 3 Completion Exams: Completion exams are given toward the end of the term after the final exam week. The student submits an ME via the Medical Excuse system and course directors are notified. The completion exam date, time, and venue will be communicated to the student by the respective course director in the week of the final exam. Failure to sit for the scheduled examinations will result in an exam grade of zero “0.” Students who take an ME for a final examination must take the completion examination.

Pre-Clinical Diagnostic Tests: The Office of Admission may prescribe a Pre-clinical Fundamental Science Diagnostic Test (SGUMAT) or a Pre-clinical English Language Competency Examination in order to determine appropriate placement within the Preclinical Program.

Comprehensive Examination: Pre-clinical Science Comprehensive Examination (PCSCE)- All students must take this examination at the conclusion of third year coursework. The examination is comprehensive for third year coursework only.

PCSCE- Pre-Clinical : The examination is comprehensive for 5Yr MD science coursework  as well as Communication for the Health Professional I & II courses. The exam involves an essay component in addition to multiple choice questions (MCQ). Students must achieve a minimum 70% pass on each component.

PBSCE – Postbaccalaureate: This is a MCQ (multiple choice questions) only exam offered to the Postbaccalaureate students There are two (2) components PBSCE I and II offered at the end of term 1 and term 2 coursework respectively.


The SOM Faculty recognize that exams are an integral part of training in the Pre-Clinical Program and expect all students to comply with all examination policies and attend all exams on their scheduled dates. It is expected that exams will only be missed in exceptional circumstances where illness, catastrophic or other pre-validated reasons preclude a student’s adherence to the exam schedule. An examination in Years 1 and 2 is defined as a Quiz, Unified, Midterm or Final. Year 3 of the Pre-Clinical phase consists of four exams (Exam One, Exam Two, etc.) that are equally weighted and apply to core science subjects.

Students must complete all course examinations in order to meet course requirements and earn a final course grade. If a student completes only part of an examination (e.g., Part 1 but not Part 2 of a two-part examination), then the completed part of the examination is invalidated, no score exists, and the examination as a whole is considered missed.

Students are expected to take all regular and Completion examinations as scheduled (see master School of Medicine schedule published on the Office of the University Registrar site).

All students are expected to adhere to the Code of Conduct with respect to all University-administered examinations. Examination policies apply to all Examinations (See Appendix Electronic Examination Procedures  here)


Any exam irregularities that negatively impact a student’s ability to complete the exam must be reported immediately within the examination venue to the Chief Proctor or email for online exam support. For issues that cannot be resolved in the venue, students should immediately request that an Irregularity Report be completed by the Chief Proctor in the venue at that time of the occurrence. Students should email the Course Director immediately after the exam to alert the Course Director of the Irregularity Report that was filed in the venue. Irregularity Reports will not be considered after the examination is completed and the student has left the venue or if the outlined process is not followed.

After grades are published by the Course Director no changes will be made based on Irregularity Reports that are filed inappropriately or late, therefore students should ensure that all irregularities are dealt with appropriately in venue and that the Course Director is alerted to the presence of a filed Irregularity Report immediately after the examination. In this circumstance, the affected grade is sequestered until the irregularity is investigated.

Once the Irregularity Report is filed by the OIA and it is agreed by the Course Director in consultation with the Dean of Basic Sciences Office that it may have affected student performance, the affected grade will remain sequestered. A student may be offered a Completion examination after investigation of the events. The Completion exam, if offered, is scheduled at the end of term at the regularly scheduled date of the Completion exams for the course affected.

In exceptional circumstances it may be necessary to delay the start time of an exam or postpone the examination. Students are advised to not make travel arrangements for immediately after an examination to cover this eventuality.


In very limited circumstances, an excused absence from examinations may be granted to students. If the absence is excused, then the student receives an “I” for the exam grade and can take the Completion Examination at its next scheduled time, as outlined in the master schedule.


A student may request a Medical Excuse (ME) for an exam. A student may request only one ME per 12-month period. A student must fill out the ME form on the Members Center of the SGU Portal Medical excuse form and submit it before the time of the first scheduled examination to be missed.  This student is excused from all examinations falling within seven (7) days of the ME submission. If a student recovers during the examination period, he/she may attend any remaining examinations that are scheduled.

If a student attempts to submit the ME form more than once in a 12-month period, they will be denied the Medical Excuse and must sit the examination(s). If the student does not sit for the examination(s), then the student will receive a grade of “0” for the examination. The University may elect to place the student on a a mandatory Medical Leave of Absence, should the student’s medical condition prevent him or her from making normal progress through the Doctor of Medicine program. If a student makes a second ME request within 12 months, the student shall receive a written notice about the consequences of not sitting the examination(s).


Excused absences from examinations for non-medical reasons generally fall into three domains:

  1. Religious Observance: A student who wishes to observe a religious holiday may receive an excused absence if appropriate protocol is followed for seeking the excused absence. Specifically, the student must inform the Dean of Students (DOS) office of the dates of the religious holidays within the first 30 days of each academic term in order for these absences to be approved. Any dates of travel associated with the religious observance beyond the actual holiday are NOT covered by excused absences.
  2. Scholarly/Administrative Activities: Activities that enhance a student’s scholarly achievement and/or contribute toward the administrative activities of SGU’s School of Medicine may be eligible for an excused absence. Examples may include presenting at a national conference or attending required meetings with officials of SGU.
  3. Catastrophic Events: Unforeseen and extraordinary events (e.g., funerals, prolonged hospitalization) may be considered an excused absence.

An application for an excuse for a non-medical excused absence should be made in writing by the student to the Pre-clinical Dean of Students Office ( If approved, the Pre-clinical Dean of Students, will inform the Pre-Clinical Program Director and the Course Director of a student’s excused absence.